Varicella zoster virus primarily causes chickenpox, usually a mild self-limiting illness of childhood. However, complications occur in 1% with 4200 annual deaths. Since the first vaccination was developed in the 1970s, many countries have introduced universal mass immunisation, but the UK currently only routinely immunises ‘at-risk’ populations. With increasing availability of private varicella vaccination, this article reviews the pros and cons of whether parents should be immunising their children with the chickenpox vaccine privately.
- evidence based medicine
- general paediatrics
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Contributors This article was devised, written and edited by SJG with support and suggestions from KC.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.